Audios for young and old alike tell familiar Christmas stories to help make the season bright

Time to warm those little hearts -- and the larger ones as well.

The holidays, of course, are coming, and so, are stories of the season.


Several audio offerings highlight the holidays, starting with Leo Buscaglia's "Seven Stories of Christmas Love" (Nightingale-Conant Audio, two hours, $14.95).

Mr. Buscaglia, famous for his lectures on human relations, has an approach tailor-made for Christmas. "The spirit of Christmas is love and love is universal," he says in introducing stories "for those who have no trouble accepting miracles."


His tales of his own Christmas experiences are simple, direct and loving. On several of them, the challenge will be keeping a dry eye.

"A Christmas Album" (Audio Book Contractors, three hours, $6.65 rental, $19.95 purchase) features Flo Gibson reading holiday stories, including O. Henry's touching masterpiece, "The Gift of the Magi," a tale that never fails in communicating pure love. Excerpts from Charles Dickens and Washington Irving are less successful, however, because the context of the works will not be familiar to young people.

Bantam Audio's "A Treasury of Christmas Stories and Poems" performed by Jane Alexander (one hour, $9.99) has an excellent mix of materials, at least as far as youngsters will be concerned. It includes biblical readings and, in a telling not quite as effective as Gibson's, "The Gift of the Magi."

Bantam Audio has released "A Celebration of Hanukkah" performed by Hal Linden (40 minutes, $9.99). Mr. Linden relates the story "Judah, The Maccabee," giving a dramatic reading of the fight more than 2,100 years ago of the Jewish people in Palestine against oppressive King Antiochus of Syria.

Where to get the tapes:

Nightingale-Conant, 7300 N. Lehigh Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60648; phone (800) 525-9000.

Audio Book Contractors, P.O. Box 40115, Washington, D.C. 20016; phone (202) 363-3429.

Bantam Audio, 666 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10103; phone (800) 223-6834, Ext. 9479.